Reading Bad Fitzgerald

Why oh why did self not spend more time choosing the books she brought with her to Scotland?

Here she is with Fitzgerald’s The Beautiful and The Damned, and it is horrible.  Plain horrible.


From “Portrait of a Siren,” Chapter II:

Three dozen virtuous females of the first layer were proclaiming their fitness, if not their specific willingness, to bear three children unto three dozen millionaires.  Five dozen virtuous females of the second layer were proclaiming not only this fitness, but in addition, a tremendous undaunted ambition toward the first three dozen young men, who were of course invited to each of the ninety-six parties —  as were the young lady’s group of family friends, acquaintances, college boys, and eager young outsiders . . .  Jewesses were coming out into a society of Jewish men and women, from Riverside to the Bronx, and looking forward to a rising young broker or jeweller and a kosher wedding; Irish girls were casting their eyes, with licence at last to do so, upon a society of young Tammany politicans, pious undertakers, and grown-up choir boys.

And naturally, the city caught the contagious air of entré —  the working girls, poor ugly girls, wrapping soap in the factories and showing finery in the big stores, dreamed that perhaps in the spectacular excitement in this winter they might obtain for themselves the coveted male —  as in a muddled carnival crow d an inefficient pickpocket may consider his chances increased.

And, naturally —

The horrible thing is, self thinks Fitzgerald is not writing satire.  She thinks he means us to empathize.  With the indolent, superficial hero, Anthony Patch.

Or perhaps it’s just that the novel’s view of women and men is so dated.  Seriously, this kind of writing wouldn’t even get a sniff from Vanity Fair. (And to think, the reason self decided to read this book was:  someone in The New York Times Book Review made an admiring reference to it, in one of those end-paper essays)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

For Interested International Visual Artists

Self received this notice a few days ago.  It’s from Patricia Muñoz of the International Association of Contemporary Art and Culture in Barcelona.  She’s looking for artists for an exhibit in Miami, USA, “10 Artists From 10 Countries.”  I’m reproducing her e-mail below.  Details are a little sketchy.  For complete guidelines, contact Ms. Muñoz directly at: or

Dear Artists:

We are selecting 10 artists from 10 different countries for an exhibition at a museum in Miami, USA.

Each artist will have 5 meters of wall space.

There will be a catalog.  Each artist will have a catalog at home.

Awards will be given for Best Set, and free participation in a group show or promotion at an International Art Fair.

Best regards,

Patricia Muñoz

Here’s a link to Ms. Muñoz’s Facebook page.

Stay tuned.

We are no longer what we were yesterday

Today, we are no longer what we were yesterday.

Before self gets too much into the banality of the above statement, dear blog readers should know that for the duration of the month of June, everyone in the Castle has agreed to be called only by their assumed names.

The following are the names we have been ordained:

  • Demosthenes
  • Duckling
  • Sandy
  • Smoky
  • Natasha

There are two more names but self is quite at a loss, at the moment, to remember what these are.

There are also last names, but the only ones self can recall (as last night was sooo long ago) are:

Demosthenes Nimitz and Duckling Carolina

Just another window in self’s room

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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